¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Cicero now explicates the reasons for his judgement that Pompey has outperformed both his contemporaries and the Romans of old. To do so, he briefly switches registers: he theorizes. In the first sentence of the paragraph, he defines, in the abstract, his ideal of the consummate military leader or perfect general. His summus imperator has four essential attributes – scientia rei militaris (‘knowledge of military affairs’), virtus (‘overall excellence’), auctoritas (‘commanding prestige’ or ‘authority’), and felicitas (‘divine blessing’). These attributes serve Cicero as blueprint for the rest of §§ 28-49. He treats each one in turn. The first quality in the list, scientia rei militaris, which is also the least complex, receives the briefest coverage: Cicero deals with it in the rest of § 28, before moving on to virtus (§§ 29-42), auctoritas (§§ 43-46), and felicitas (§§ 47-48). (Note the unequal distribution: scientia militaris receives 1 paragraph, virtus 14, auctoritas 4, and felicitas 2: is there a rationale for this?) Throughout, he aims to demonstrate that it is impossible to imagine anyone possessing any of these qualities to a higher degree than Pompey – let alone all four together. Pompey thereby emerges as the living embodiment of the perfect general.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 Ego enim sic existimo, in summo imperatore quattuor has res inesse oportere: scientiam rei militaris, virtutem, auctoritatem, felicitatem: the sic sets up the indirect statement in summo imperatore quattuor has res inesse oportere: see OLD s.v. 4b. One could say in English ‘as follows’, but this would be a bit cumbersome. scientiam rei militaris, virtutem, auctoritatem, felicitatem stand in apposition to quattuor has res. has is thus best translated ‘the following’. res here means something akin to ‘qualities’.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 scientiam rei militaris, virtutem, auctoritatem, felicitatem: an asyndetic list that is arranged climactically. Cicero moves from knowledge based on experience (scientia rei militaris) to innate ability/personal qualities/overall excellence (virtus) to impact on/perception by others in socio-political settings (auctoritas) to endorsement/support from the gods (felicitas). After setting out his ideal, Cicero proceeds to look for it in reality. He does so from here on out by means of a systematic ‘compare and contrast’ that pitches Pompey against an anonymous collective of ‘everyone else’. Accordingly, watch out for comparative forms: they make a frequent appearance! In § 28 alone, there are four: scientior, saepius, plura, and plures – all designed to illustrate Pompey’s unparalleled knowledge of military matters.
¶ 18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 Cicero starts by posing a rhetorical question (quis … debuit?) that demands the obvious answer: ‘nobody’. What follows are four climactically arranged sentences, all starting with a connecting relative (qui, qui, qui, cuius) that pick up hoc homine. (i) and (ii) sketch Pompey’s rise from kindergarten to general; (iii) and (iv) step back and compare his overall achievement in (and hence empirical knowledge of) military matters to that of anyone else. The design of (i) and (ii) is essentially bipartite, here flagged up with (a) and (b) (though there is a whiff of a tricolon in (i) as well: see below): they outline Pompey’s progression from puer to miles (i) and from miles to imperator (ii). The basic organizing principle of both (iii) and (iv) is the tricolon, flagged up with (a) (b) (c).
¶ 20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 scientior, which picks up scientiam rei militaris in the previous sentence, is the comparative form, in the nominative masculine singular, of sciens, scientis (‘knowledgeable’). Cicero elides the objective genitive rei militaris that we need to understand with scientior. It can easily be supplied from the previous sentence.
¶ 22 Leave a comment on paragraph 22 0 qui e ludo atque e pueritiae disciplinis bello maximo atque acerrimis hostibus ad patris exercitum atque in militiae disciplinam profectus est: between the subject (the connecting relative pronoun qui = et hic) at the beginning and the verb (profectus est) at the end, Cicero includes three well- balanced phrases that gradually increase in length, each consisting of two elements linked by atque:
¶ 24 Leave a comment on paragraph 24 0 (i) and (iii) correlate closely: e ludo sets up ad patris exercitum; e pueritiae disciplinis sets up in militiae disciplinam. (ii) consists of two circumstantial ablatives that specify the historical context in which Pompey made his transition from ‘boy’ to ‘man’.
¶ 25 Leave a comment on paragraph 25 0 e ludo atque e pueritiae disciplinis: the meaning of ludus covers a wide semantic range, from ‘sport, play, recreation’ to ‘show, entertainment, or, in the plural, public games’ to ‘fun, merriment, frivolity’. Here it refers to ‘a place of instruction or training’, more specifically, ‘elementary school’: OLD s.v. 6. disciplinae, in the plural, refers to different ‘branches of study’. In the singular, it means ‘teaching, instruction, training’, but also something more akin to the English derivative ‘discipline’, i.e. ‘orderly conduct based on moral training’ or ‘order maintained in a body of people under command’ (OLD s.v. 4), which is its meaning in the phrase in militiae disciplinam further on in the sentence. pueritia means ‘boyhood’, which in Rome tended to come to an end between the 14th and 17th birthday, with the donning of the so-called toga virilis (‘the toga of manhood’), which marked the beginning of adulescentia (‘adulthood’).
¶ 26 Leave a comment on paragraph 26 0 bello maximo atque acerrimis hostibus: the ablatives indicate the attendant circumstances in which Pompey made the transition from being a boy at school to serving in the army. The use of two superlatives (maximo, acerrimis) and the chiastic design (noun – adjective – adjective – noun) underscore the severity of the conflict that initiated Pompey into military life. There are two ways to construe the atque: it can be taken to link (i) bello and hostibus (= ‘in a war of great significance and against the most bitter enemies’) or (ii) maximo and acerrimus hostibus, with both phrases being predicative specifications of bello (= ‘a war of great significance and involving the most bitter enemies’). The war in question is the Social War between Rome and her Italian allies in 91-87 BC (with the most intense fighting occurring in 90-89), which ended with Rome granting full citizenship to its ‘allies-turned-enemies-turned-citizens’. The details of the conflict are irrelevant for Cicero’s purposes. His main interest lies in Pompey’s precocious exposure to warfare. But our sources suggest that for once his ‘superlative idiom’ is true to the facts: the fighting was ferocious. ((Sources include Appian Bellum Civile 1.48.207ff., Velleius Paterculus 2.21.1, Florus 2.6.14.))
¶ 27 Leave a comment on paragraph 27 0 ad patris exercitum atque in militiae disciplinam: Pompey went straight from school (ludus) to military service (exercitus) under the command of his father Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo, one of the consuls of 89 BC, most likely as a member of his father’s consilium. Pompey was born on 29 September 106 BC, so he must have been 17 at the time. Cicero, too, earned his military spurs under Strabo. There is no evidence to suggest, however, that he was also part of the consilium or that Cicero and Pompey had ‘any close link’. ((Seager (2002) 194 n. 10.))[Extra information:
¶ 28 Leave a comment on paragraph 28 0 A consilium is a typically Roman institution: it was in effect a group of esteemed and experienced persons who acted in an advisory capacity, but also included well-connected young men eager to learn the ropes of public affairs; any Roman in a position of power, whether in his role as pater familias or as a magistrate or pro-magistrate of the Roman people, was expected to consult his consilium before making an important or difficult decision. We know of the presence of Pompey filius in the consilium of his father because of an inscription, which provides us with ‘the single surviving list of a commander’s suite’. ((Badian (2009) 17.)) The inscription in question is ILLRP (= Inscriptiones Latinae Liberae Rei Publicae) 515. You can access the full text and a translation (as well as a photo of the inscription) at http://www.theaterofpompey.com/ pdcs_articles/rg_sp.pdf. It’s worth checking out, just to get a sense of the sheer size of the consilium.]
¶ 30 Leave a comment on paragraph 30 0 qui extrema pueritia miles in exercitu fuit summi imperatoris, ineunte adulescentia maximi ipse exercitus imperator: Cicero here uses an ablative of time (extrema pueritia) and a temporal ablative absolute (ineunte adulescentia) to underscore both Pompey’s precociousness and his comet- like ascent to the top: at the very end of his boyhood (extrema pueritia), he was already a soldier (miles), yet at the beginning of his adulthood (ineunte adulescentia), he was already a general (imperator). The emphasis on the end of one period in Pompey’s life (pueritia) and the beginning of another (adulescentia) underscores that he rose virtually overnight from common soldier (miles) to commander-in-chief (imperator). In reality, however, several years elapsed between his entry into military life under his father in
¶ 31 Leave a comment on paragraph 31 0 89 and 83 BC when he put himself in command of an army that he had raised by his own initiative, relying on family networks, in the turbulent years of civil war between Sulla and the Marians. In fact, Pompey’s comet-like (and unconstitutional) rise to the pinnacle of Rome’s politico-military hierarchy would have been inconceivable without the chaos of suicidal infighting within Rome’s ruling elite. Cicero glosses over the unsavoury enabling conditions of Pompey’s stunning success (and irregular curriculum vitae), choosing instead to focus on the truly extraordinary speed of his ascent to the top. The chiastic arrangement miles in exercitu summi imperatoris – maximi
¶ 32 Leave a comment on paragraph 32 0 … exercitûs imperator enhances the effect: the shifts in case from the genitive summi imperatoris to the nominative ipse … imperator and from the ablative in exercitu to the genitive maximi … exercitûs underscore the transformation of Pompey from military novice to general, with the ipse emphasising that Pompey has become imperator himself. And even though he wasn’t yet the summus imperator that he is at the time of Cicero’s speech, the transference of the superlative from the general under which Pompey served (summi imperatoris) to the army he had under his command at a young age (maximi
¶ 36 Leave a comment on paragraph 36 0 Plutarch records the moment when Pompey was first hailed as imperator – by none other than Sulla. See his Life of Pompey 8.2; the year is 83 BC, after Pompey had won several victories over Sulla’s Marian enemies:
¶ 38 Leave a comment on paragraph 38 0 When Pompey learned that Sulla was near, he ordered his officers to have the forces fully armed and in complete array, that they might present a very fine and brilliant appearance to the imperator; for he expected great honours from him, and he received even greater. For when Sulla saw him advancing with an admirable army of young and vigorous soldiers elated and in high spirits because of their successes, he alighted from off his horse, and after being saluted, as was his due, with the title of Imperator, he saluted Pompey in return as Imperator. And yet no one could have expected that a young man, and one who was not yet a senator, would receive from Sulla this title.
¶ 40 Leave a comment on paragraph 40 0 Two years later, after a decisive rout of king Iarbas’ troops in Africa, Pompey’s own soldiers hailed him as imperator – a stepping stone towards his first triumph (for which see below). ((Plutarch, Life of Pompey 12.3.))]
¶ 42 Leave a comment on paragraph 42 0 summi imperatoris: most likely a complimentary reference to Pompey’s father Strabo (who celebrated a triumph in 89 BC for the siege and sack of Asculum and thus could be said to have earned the attribute summus), rather than Sulla: Pompey didn’t join Sulla’s side until several years later, and Cicero at any rate tries to downplay the Sulla-connection whenever possible.
¶ 45 Leave a comment on paragraph 45 0 qui saepius cum hoste conflixit quam quisquam cum inimico concertavit, plura bello gessit quam ceteri legerunt, plures provincias confecit quam alii concupiverunt: Cicero here identifies three related pairs of (unequal) challenges and asserts that Pompey has mastered the (vastly) more difficult one in each pair more frequently (see the three comparatives saepius, plura, plures, each followed by quam) than anyone else has mastered the one that requires comparatively little effort. The four composite verbs confligere, concertare, conficere, and concupescere endow the sentence with an alliterative beat, further enhanced by the absence of connectives.
¶ 49 Leave a comment on paragraph 49 0 saepius cum hoste conflixit quam quisquam cum inimico concertavit: to begin with, Cicero contrasts the frequency with which Pompey has defeated an enemy of Rome with the frequency with which anyone else has engaged in strife with a personal enemy. Apart from the higher number (saepius), there is a contrast between decisive victories on the battlefield (conflixit) and indecisive encounters in a court of law (concertavit) and one between an outside (military) enemy (hostis) and a personal-political enemy (inimicus).
¶ 52 Leave a comment on paragraph 52 0 plura bello gessit quam ceteri legerunt: the second comparison asserts that the deeds Pompey has performed in war outnumber the military deeds others have read of. We repeat here what we have already pointed out in the Introduction: depending on the reader, it could imply very few military feats indeed; if, on the other hand, the reader Cicero has in mind is someone like himself (who had surely perused all the major Greek and Roman historiographers and most of the minor ones as well: you can see him at it in V. Foppa’s painting on page 6) the praise turns into panegyric hyperbole. The distinction between acquiring knowledge of warfare through military service as compared to reading about it in books also occurs in the speech the historian Sallust (86-c.35 BC) puts in the mouth of Marius, a homo novus (‘new man’) who held the consulship seven times, in his Bellum Iugurthinum 85.13: Comparate nunc, Quirites, cum illorum superbia me hominem novum. Quae illi audire aut legere solent, eorum partem vidi, alia egomet gessi; quae illi litteris, ea ego militando didici. Nunc vos existimate, facta an dicta pluris sint (‘Compare me now, fellow citizens, a “new man”, with those haughty nobles. What they know from hearsay and reading, I have either seen with my own eyes or done with my own hands. What they have learned from books I have learned by service in the field; think now for yourselves whether words or deeds are worth more’). We are either dealing with a topos or, possibly, with a Sallustian reworking of a Ciceronian idea.
¶ 55 Leave a comment on paragraph 55 0 plures provincias confecit quam alii concupiverunt: provincia can mean ‘province’, in the sense of ‘a territory outside Italy under the direct administration of a governor from Rome’ (OLD s.v. 3), but the English derivative is a ‘false friend’ here, where Cicero uses provincia in its original sense of ‘special function or task assigned to a magistrate’ (OLD s.v. 1). (The term imperium – see next sentence – underwent a semantic expansion analogous to provincia, from the ‘right to command’ to ‘empire’, i.e. the territory over which one has the right to issue orders.) The theme of Pompey’s qualities and achievements surpassing the wildest dreams of his contemporaries recurs in § 48.
¶ 58 Leave a comment on paragraph 58 0 cuius adulescentia ad scientiam rei militaris non alienis praeceptis sed suis imperiis, non offensionibus belli sed victoriis, non stipendiis sed triumphis est erudita: the subject of the sentence is adulescentia, the verb is est erudita. The principle of praise here is the same as in the previous sentence: Cicero identifies three pairs of (unequal) sources of the scientia rei militaris that Pompey acquired at the outset of his adulthood (praecepta v. imperia; offensiones v. victoriae; stipendia v. triumphi) and argues that his knowledge derives from the superior ones. These – imperia, victoriae, triumphi – constitute the core of aristocratic ambition in republican Rome: military commands (imperia) were meant to result in victories (victoriae) and ideally the victories were of such magnitude that the general in charge could celebrate a triumph (triumphus).
¶ 61 Leave a comment on paragraph 61 0 non alienis praeceptis sed suis imperiis: Pompey knows about warfare not because he was the recipient of instruction by someone else (alienis praeceptis), but because he was holding the right of command over Roman armies himself, and more than once (suis imperiis: note the plural). The contrast is twofold: alienis contrasts with suis, praeceptis with imperiis. Even though the grammatical subject of the sentence is adulescentia, Cicero uses the reflexive pronoun suis, which refers to the understood subject, i.e. Pompey.
¶ 64 Leave a comment on paragraph 64 0 non offensionibus belli sed victoriis: Pompey did not have to learn from his mistakes (offensionibus belli means something akin to the ‘School of Hard Knocks’, i.e. the painful education one gets via life’s trials and tribulations, here specifically military defeats). Cicero implies that he always emerged from battle victoriously. This is not strictly speaking true, or at least not the whole truth: especially in his campaign against Sertorius in Spain, Pompey experienced major setbacks and outright defeats in battle before he gradually gained control of the situation. Cicero brushes over such nuances in panegyrical simplification.
¶ 67 Leave a comment on paragraph 67 0 non stipendiis sed triumphis: the basic meaning of stipendium is the cash payment soldiers received; it is also used metonymically in the sense of‘season of military service’, ‘campaign’. This is the meaning here: Cicero contrasts mere service in the army with the ultimate of achievement in Roman warfare, the celebration of a triumph.
¶ 70 Leave a comment on paragraph 70 0 triumphis: most Roman aristocrats would have been over the moon to be awarded a triumph once. By the time of the pro lege Manilia in 66 BC, Pompey had already triumphed twice: in 81 (?) BC for his victory in Africa over king Iarbas, in the context of the civil war between Sulla and the Marians; ((We know that the triumph took place on 12 March, but the year is uncertain: 81, 80, 79 BC are all possibilities. See Seager (2002) 29 for discussion; he argues for 81 BC as the most likely date.)) and in 71 BC for his victory over Sertorius in Spain. He was to celebrate a third triumph in 61 BC, for his victories over the pirates and Mithridates. The highly coveted award of a triumph was supposed to follow strict regulations and was, in theory, reserved for senators who had reached at least the praetorship, which meant (again: at least) the age of 39. At the time of his first triumph, Pompey by contrast was in his twenties (!) and still only an eques (‘knight’) – the first eques to celebrate the ritual, against the initial resistance of Sulla and others. The people, though, took delight in the extraordinary feat. As Plutarch reports in his biography (Life of Pompey 14.6): ‘it was a dazzling honour for him to celebrate a triumph before he was a senator. And this contributed not a little to win him the favour of the multitude; for the people were delighted to have him still classed among the knights after a triumph.’
¶ 71 Leave a comment on paragraph 71 0 Pompey ensured that the occasion remained memorable in other ways as well. Here is Plutarch again (Life of Pompey 14.4): ‘When many showed displeasure and indignation at his project, Pompey, we are told, was all the more desirous of annoying them, and tried to ride into the city on a chariot drawn by four elephants; for he had brought many from Africa which he had captured from its kings. But the gate of the city was too narrow, and he therefore gave up the attempt and changed over to his horses.’ Plutarch implies that Pompey and his advisors were ‘geometrically challenged’ when they tried to squeeze the elephants through the gates, and many a modern scholar has followed suit. Seager speaks of an ‘element of farce’ that ‘marred the proceedings’; ((Seager (2002) 28.)) and Cole thinks that ‘unfortunately, Pompey had to alter his grandiose plans when the elephants would not fit through the gate’. ((Cole (2013) 34 n. 50.) Surely, however, Pompey and his advisors had sufficient mathematical ability to measure up the backsides of two elephants and the size of a Roman gate. Hence it is much more likely that we are dealing with one of those carefully stage-managed instances of innovative aristocratic self-promotion that formed an essential component of the political culture of the Roman republic. We need to imagine the long triumphal procession grinding to a halt, with everybody watching Pompey attempting the impossible before conceding defeat and switching over from elephants to (conventional) horses – a spectacular and, as Plutarch proves, truly memorable scenario that both signalled his overweening ambition and his ultimate willingness to abide by tradition. The elephants, apart from evoking the African theatre of operation, also marched in the tradition of good old aristocratic emulation (recalling Lucius Metellus (c.290-221
¶ 72 Leave a comment on paragraph 72 0 BC), high pontiff, twice consul, dictator, chief commander of the cavalry, etc., who in his triumphal procession after the First Punic War displayed elephants in Rome for the first time) and reinforced Pompey’s self- fashioning as a Roman equivalent of Alexander the Great and ‘Alexander’s mythical ancestors, Heracles and Dionysus, the divine conquerors of the world.’ ((Weinstock (1971) 37. For Lucius Metellus, see Pliny, Natural History 7.139, for Pompey and Alexander, see Sallust, Histories 3.84 McGushin (‘From his earliest youth, Pompeius had been persuaded by the flattery of his supporters to believe that he was the equal of king Alexander. Therefore he tried to rival Alexander’s achievements and plans’) and Plutarch, Life of Pompey 2.2, for the ritual of the triumph more generally, see Beard (2007).))
¶ 75 Leave a comment on paragraph 75 0 Quod denique genus esse belli potest, in quo illum non exercuerit fortuna rei publicae?: quod is an interrogative adjective modifying genus; in quo introduces a relative clause of characteristic (hence the perfect subjunctive exercuerit). After tracing Pompey’s rise to military stardom, Cicero here refocuses his discourse on the issue under consideration with another rhetorical question. The phrase genus belli recalls the earlier discussion of the nature (genus) of the war against Mithridates. Cicero stresses that Pompey, in the course of his career, has successfully fought in every conceivable kind (genus) of war, and in doing so did well by the res publica – his appointment under the lex Manilia would thus virtually guarantee another victory.
¶ 80 Leave a comment on paragraph 80 0 fortuna rei publicae: fortuna should arguably be capitalized (Fortuna) and understood as a divine quality endowed with agency: here the Fortuna of the res publica is said to have taken it upon herself to train Pompey. The Romans dedicated several temples to various manifestations of Fortuna:293 BC (Fors Fortuna), mid-third-century BC (Tres Fortunae), c.204-194 BC (Fortuna Primigenia), 180-173 BC (Fortuna Equestris), 101 BC (Fortuna Huiusque Diei), in line with shrines and temples to other divine qualities such as Concordia, Felicitas, Fides, Honos, Libertas, Mens, Ops, Pietas, Salus, Spes, Victoria, or Virtus. ((See the Appendix in Clark (2007) 283-86.))
¶ 81 Leave a comment on paragraph 81 0 Cicero frequently features personified divine qualities as agents in his speeches: ‘He describes victoria, for example, as witness and as judge; … fortuna rei publicae is said to be keeping Pompey busy in all kinds of wars [= our passage here]; fortuna populi romani is described as bringing Pompey to Asia [= Man. 45: see below]; and fides is represented leading Cicero himself.’ ((Clark (2007) 214-15.)) The passage here belongs to a wider sequence of references to Pompey’s special relationship to Fortuna or Felicitas: see §§ 45, 48, 49 below.
¶ 84 Leave a comment on paragraph 84 0 Civile, Africanum, Transalpinum, Hispaniense, servile, navale bellum, varia et diversa genera et bellorum et hostium, non solum gesta ab hoc uno, sed etiam confecta, nullam rem esse declarant in usu positam militari, quae huius viri scientiam fugere possit: the sentence has two subjects: bellum (prefaced by the string of attributes Civile, Africanum, Transalpinum, Hispaniense, servile, and navale) and genera (prefaced by the two attributes varia and diversa and governing the genitive phrase et bellorum et hostium). Two perfect passive participles agreeing with genera follow: gesta and confecta. The main verb of the sentence is declarant, which is placed smack in the middle of the indirect statement it introduces: nullam rem is the subject accusative; and the infinitive is either esse (as a complete predicate), which would turn positam into a perfect passive participle agreeing with rem (‘… that there is/exists no thing that falls within the remit of military experience…’) or esse … positam (‘… that no thing falls within the remit of military experience…’). By turning the string of wars in which Pompey participated into eloquent witnesses for his knowledge in military matters, Cicero anticipates the English saying that ‘the facts speak for themselves’.
¶ 86 Leave a comment on paragraph 86 0 Nevertheless, the list is a telling piece of evidence for the increasing complexity of warfare in late-republican Rome. As Robert Brown notes: ‘Bellum traditionally signified to the Romans a just war waged against non- allied external foes, whether in Italy or overseas – such at least was the ideal. The era of the Gracchi ushered in a century of internal conflict in which the notion of war became fraught with complications.’ ((Brown (2003) 94.)) And he cites our passage as a case in point, not least since Man. 28 is our earliest attestation for the phrase ciuile bellum. He elaborates: ‘Undoubtedly the term was in common use by the 60s but the date of its origin is indeterminable. … At any rate, the Ciceronian passage attests vividly to the growing complexity of the notion of war. The list presents an odd mixture of abstract and concrete terms. Ciuile refers to the wars of the 80s against Cinna and Carbo. The next three wars – Africanum, Transalpinum, Hispaniense – exhibit the traditional formula [i.e. the geographical specification of a war on foreign/hostile territory]. Bellum seruile … shifts back to political categorization. Bellum nauale, which refers to the campaign against the pirates in 67, formally resembles ciuile and seruile but characterizes the war by mode rather than enemy. Thus three (or four ) genera belli: ciuile, seruile, nauale, and perhaps in the case of the bellum Hispaniense, a genus mixtum (a hybrid of civil and foreign war ) – none of which, it should be noted, corresponds to the standard type of war fought by the Romans before this era. To classify the complex wars of the late Republic there was a need for expansion and refinement of the traditional terminology.’ ((Brown (2003) 104.))
¶ 87 Leave a comment on paragraph 87 0 Civile … bellum: in the same year the Social War (91-87 BC) ended, Rome tottered into Civil War between Sulla and (initially) Marius and his supporters. A brief timeline is as follows:
¶ 88 Leave a comment on paragraph 88 0 87: Marius and the tribune Publius Sulpicius Rufus try to relieve Sulla, who was consul at the time, of his command against Mithridates and transfer it to Marius.
¶ 89 Leave a comment on paragraph 89 0 87: Sulla flees the city, only to march on Rome at the head of six legions he commanded in the Social War. He manages to gain control of Rome, declare Marius and several of his supporters public enemies (hostes) and then leave for the East to wage war against Mithridates as planned.
¶ 90 Leave a comment on paragraph 90 0 87: Once Sulla has left the city, renewed fighting breaks out between Sulla’s supporters, including the other consul of 87, Gnaeus Octavius, and the Marian party, including, prominently, Marius himself, who plotted his return from Africa, his son, Lucius Cornelius Cinna, and Quintus Sertorius. The Marians gain the upper hand.
¶ 93 Leave a comment on paragraph 93 0 83: Sulla, after some initial, inconsequential victories over Mithridates, returns to Italy and defeats the Marian party, now under the leadership of Gnaeus Papirius Carbo, who flees to Africa, and Quintus Sertorius, who retreats to the Hispanic peninsula (with particular strongholds in modern-day Portugal).
¶ 94 Leave a comment on paragraph 94 0 In 84 BC, we find Pompey in the camp of Carbo, but soon afterwards he decided to transfer his allegiances to Sulla, raising a private legion from his client base (that is, without senatorial authorization) and presenting it to Sulla upon Sulla’s return to Italy from his campaign against Mithridates. This is the moment when he was first hailed as imperator (see above). He then helped Sulla to crush the Marian opposition in Italy, with notable success and an ever-swelling army. Cicero acknowledges, but then quickly glosses over, this problematic chapter in Pompey’s CV, re-labelling those military operations that were part of the civil conflict but did not take place on Italian soil with reference to the geographical regions where they happened. See below on Africanum bellum, Transalpinum bellum and Hispaniense bellum – three phrases that give the impression of warfare against external enemies. Brown points out that ciuile bellum is ‘a contradiction in terms, inasmuch as cooperation in war against external enemies would normally be considered one of the chief duties and characteristics of a citizen. “Civil war” in English has lost the paradoxical sense it held in Rome, where the distinction between ciues and non-ciues was a crucial determinant of status, obligations, and rights.’ ((Brown (2003) 103.))
¶ 95 Leave a comment on paragraph 95 0 Africanum … bellum: Pompey proceeded to fight against the remaining supporters of Marius who had fled to Africa, but he also campaigned against the African king Iarbas, who backed the Marians. Capture of the king and his kingdom paved Pompey’s path to celebrating his first triumph (see above under triumphis). ((Plutarch, Life of Pompey 12.)) (No Roman celebrated a civil-war triumph until Julius Caesar.)
¶ 96 Leave a comment on paragraph 96 0 Transalpinum … bellum: after some initial setbacks, Quintus Sertorius, Marius’ former ally, managed to consolidate his power base in Spain and, as a renegade, engaged in prolonged warfare against the official Roman presence on the Hispanic peninsula – with notable success. In 77 BC, Pompey was sent to Spain to reinforce the war effort and, on his way, engaged in various battles with Gallic tribes. Cicero’s label Transalpinum bellum refers to these rather inconsequential encounters.
¶ 97 Leave a comment on paragraph 97 0 Hispaniense … bellum: Pompey struggled mightily against Sertorius, but eventually managed to gain the upper hand; his ultimate victory was facilitated by the assassination of Sertorius during a banquet in 72 BC.
¶ 98 Leave a comment on paragraph 98 0 servile bellum: with the war in Spain finished, Pompey returned to Italy, just in time to join in the tail end of Rome’s suppression of the slave uprising under Spartacus in 71 BC, upstaging Crassus, who had been responsible for the heavy lifting. See further below on § 30.
¶ 99 Leave a comment on paragraph 99 0 navale bellum: in 67 BC, the tribune Aulus Gabinius introduced a bill that called for someone to be given an extraordinary command against the pirates. It was apparent to everybody that the command would go to Pompey (as it did), who quickly brought the pirate problem under control. The lex Gabinia was in many ways the blueprint for the lex Manilia, and Pompey’s success against the pirates Cicero’s greatest trump: he spends five full paragraphs of the set text (§§ 31-35) rehearsing Pompey’s running of the campaign and returns to the topic throughout the rest of the speech.
¶ 100 Leave a comment on paragraph 100 0 varia et diversa genera et bellorum et hostium: the use of synonyms (varia, diversa) and polysyndeton (et bellorum et hostium) reinforces the point that Pompey has seen every type of warfare, every type of enemy: his scientia rei militaris is grounded in comprehensive experience.
¶ 101 Leave a comment on paragraph 101 0 non solum gesta ab hoc uno, sed etiam confecta: this is the second time in the paragraph that Cicero uses conficere (see above: plures provincias confecit quam alii concupiverunt). In each instance, the emphasis is on Pompey’s talent to get things done: an important consideration, given the long drawn-out nature of Rome’s struggle with Mithridates, which had been flaring up intermittently for the last two decades, and the failure of other generals to finish the job (notably Lucullus, whose ineffective endeavours Cicero recalls in the early parts of the speech).
¶ 103 Leave a comment on paragraph 103 0 nullam rem esse declarant in usu positam militari, quae huius viri scientiam fugere possit: quae (referring back to rem) introduces a relative clause of characteristic (hence the subjunctive possit).